Crop District 9AW – Shellbrook, North Battleford, Big River and Hafford areas;
For the Period October 30 to November 5, 2018
Crop District 9B – Meadow Lake, Turtleford, Pierceland, Maidstone and Lloydminster areas
Producers are wrapping up harvest in the region, thanks to warm and dry weather in late October. Recent snow and rain will delay the combining of crops such as canola that remain in the field.
Yields are average to well above average, thanks to timely rain throughout the region. Any crop that was taken off prior to the September rain and snow is in good condition; however, as harvest was delayed by the moisture, many crops have been downgraded due to weather-related factors like sprouting and bleaching. Some later-seeded crops, such as canola, did not reach full maturity and some producers expect downgrading due to frost and high green count. Aeration bins and dryers have been in continuous use on many farms for well over a month.
Despite recent moisture, fields remain in need of precipitation to replenish what was lost during the growing season. Heading into winter, cropland topsoil moisture conditions are rated as five per cent surplus, 70 per cent adequate, 18 per cent short and seven per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as one per cent surplus, 76 per cent adequate, 14 per cent short and nine per cent very short.
Average hay yields on dry land are reported (in tons per acre) as: alfalfa and alfalfa/brome 1.3; other tame hay 1.2; wild hay 0.5; and greenfeed 1.7. At this time, the majority of livestock producers have indicated that they will have adequate amounts of hay, straw, greenfeed and feed grain heading into winter.
The number of acres seeded to fall cereals this year is much lower than normal, mainly due to a late harvest and wet fields. When time and weather permit, farmers are drying grain, moving cattle, putting down anhydrous ammonia, working fields, hauling bales and grain, fixing fences and putting machinery away.